Building the Kingdom on Kingdom Park (and a few other places in Fife!)
Over the next five years, this area on the north edge of Kirkcaldy will see the establishment of 1,100 new homes, 10 retail units including the usual “drive thru” suspects and a church community. It is this last project that is stirring the imagination and faith of the good folks of Kirkcaldy’s churches.
Questions like “How do you start a church from scratch?” “How do you do it without a building?” “What is going to be distinct and different about it in comparison to the other churches in Kirkcaldy?” All of these questions, and many more, are being wrestled with by a small group of people drawn from local churches and wider Presbytery, supported by Cairn Movement.
The great thing is that there are lots of other places which have already worked on how to establish a new church presence in an area of new housing. There are so many great lessons to learn from those who have already gone before. We have examples of Bertha Park in Perth and Robroyston north of Glasgow, and there are many others too. All of these will be helpful in developing the work in Kingdom Park.
Kingdom Park is not the only pioneer project that the Presbytery of Fife are looking to establish. There is already work being done around Forest Church on an ecumenical basis. There are opportunities to develop new work in the town of St. Andrew’s, building on many years of work already done.
These are the three projects which been allocated staffing within the Presbytery Planning process, but this is not the end of the Presbytery’s pioneering and mission aspirations. For the second year the Presbytery has launched its own £40k mission fund seeking applications from congregations looking for seed funding for new mission projects. (This is how they have decided to use some of their annual 5% allocation.) This will dovetail with the national Pioneering fund (£100k) and the new Seeds for Growth fund (£20-25m) coming soon.
To get ready for these opportunities the Presbytery have formed a partnership with Cairn Movement to create processes, training, and supportive structures to allow new missional activity to bubble up and be resourced. Cairn Movement come with 20 years of church planting training experience in the Scottish context (training 200+ individuals who have gone on to lead 130+ new mission projects and church plants throughout Scotland). There is also the recent experience of consultancy with Irvine & Kilmarnock Presbytery leading to the launching of six new church plants / mission projects.
Earlier this year a couple of Church Planting / Mission Project mapping events were held. These events were designed to unearth and stimulate grass-roots mission initiatives. Over two evenings, representatives of each congregation gathered round massive floor maps to highlight geographical and network mission opportunities. Over 30 possible projects were identified, and it is these that the Presbytery is hoping will come forward for funding, training and support over the next couple of years. This grassroots up approach is very much appreciated by local congregations who are once again finding vision and energy for new mission initiatives.
Pruning is leading to planting. The Kingdom of Fife is seeing lots of new Kingdom activity, some in Kingdom Park, but wonderfully in many other places too.